San Antonio.- The exterior style was more streamline, aerodynamic and yet bold than I expected. The smooth lines, wheel accents and lower front fascia that is decked out with a large honeycomb style grill and fog lights on either side reminded me of more expensive vehicles out there competing for your automotive dollars.
The Kia brand has been coming up with some very competitive products in the last couple of years that have been taking their competition to task.
The pint-sized Rio SX sets a high bar for a subcompact with an attention to detail. Not only is the Rio attractive in it’s sporty/aggressive look on the outside, it continues that upscale look on the inside. Despite the obvious size of the Rio, you don’t feel cramped once you climb inside. Two large adults can sit side-by-side up front without feeling claustrophobic, as the matter of fact you feel quite comfortable.
The real surprise is when you get into the backseat, which was actually quite. I asked my 6’6” son-in-law to take a ride with me to the grocery store. Both he and I were very comfortable at the end of the ride, and even the carrots and the rest of the groceries seemed just as satisfied. The dashboard had large dials, easy to read, well placed, easy to use and visually attractive.
The combination of soft-touch and textured materials gave you somewhat of a luxury feel that is unexpected for a vehicle costing a bit more than $18,000.
Standard on the 2013 Kia Rio SX manual shift hatchback will be pushbutton start, touch screen navigation, rear-backup camera, 17-inch wheels, sport suspension, LED daytime running lights, satellite radio, and black cloth interior.
Of course you are not going to expect serious power out of the Rio SX. Subcompacts tend to be underpowered, but the Rio gives you a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder vehicle with 138-hp while still delivering 30-mpg in the city and 40-mpg on the highway.
In my estimation, the pick up and steering of the Rio was exceptional and at times actually lots of fun as I weaved in and out of traffic on my way to work. The six-speed automatic transmission was quick to downshift giving you some acceleration, but trying to get to 60 MPH is going to take you close to nine seconds.
The Rio comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile power train warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile overall warranty and roadside assistance for that same period. Bottom line for me, it has exceptional quality, above standard equipment and some really cool options. It’s very comfortable, fun to drive and affordable, both in your monthly payment and at the gas pump. Kia provides the consumer another winner with the Kia Rio SX.